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Full text of "Political Science Of The State"



particulars of this progress in a brief statement. The privi-
leges, gradually gained by the house of commons, of decid-
ing on the validity of elections into their body, of impeaching
obnoxious ministers, of freedom from arrests ; the practice of
short, specific appropriations ; the representation of public
opinion, which has grown with every reform and which quiets
the mind of the country, because the house can be the organ of
all political measures and of all changes in the fundamental
laws ; the necessity of annual sessions and of a dissolution after
at least seven years, these and other characteristics of the house
of commons make it the most dignified and the safest legisla-
tive assembly in the world.

In considering the theory of government, we have been
obliged to look at the   relations of the ^re-
ft representative. sentatjve to fae immediate constituency.    We
may now assume that he stands in their place to the extent
that the powers of deliberation and of decision, which they
would have, could they assemble together in a deliberative
body, are transferred to him ; that if they would be bound
to come to their decisions in view of the interests of all, he
is so bound also ; that he can make, according to a right
estimate of his duties, no ^absolute pledges requiring him to
support a particular measure or party ; and that he may even
be bound to oppose the measures of his party, to change his
convictions and change his vote without being bound to re-
sign his place. He represents, as one of many, the whole
country. The object of election is to decide who is the
wisest and ablest man within reach to take this post  who
can do most good to the country if chosen. But the public
good consists of two parts  the common good and the good
of each particular district or represented community. These
will not be inconsistent with one another, generally speaking ;
but at times they will appear to be so, and it is desirable to
find men of broad minds who can take both into view, anjd
estimate duly the bearing of measures on both. There must